Once at Early Intervention, a mom brought in her 2 year old for evaluation while Aidan was doing occupational therapy in the same room. The little boy was doing imaginary play with dinosaurs while his mom and the evaluator watched, and the EI higher-up, whoever it was, said �well, that�s age appropriate�. Aidan was about the same age but firmly in the concrete-operational stage, with no interest in pretend play, and I remember wistfully pondering �age-appropriateness� and wondering what triggers a child�s mind to start attaching imaginary significance to play objects.
I’d never really thought about imaginative play as a developmental stage before, especially as one that can be delayed; but here’s the second parent I’ve come across who’s mentioned this observation.
I’ve always been interested in the subject of imaginative play. I guess I was a pretty self-aware child and I always placed great importance in my fantasy worlds and pitied my friends and schoolmates who I thought grew up too fast and lost the fun of imaginative play, belief in magic and Santa Claus, and love for fairy tales and other imaginative works. Now with Bella I’m fascinated to watch her developing the beginnings of imaginative play as she puts all sorts of objects to use as cell phones. Being a parent certainly changes one’s perspective. And so now my interest has been rekindled and once more brought to the forefront of conscious preoccupations; but with more of an academic/child-development bent. I’d like to read more on the subject; but didn’t know where to begin. Now suddenly the pieces are falling into place and articles are tumbling into my lap, so to speak.